By Peter Daley
Lets look at the facts.
Virus checkers are at best, only finding 37% of the latest threats.
From the statistics of on line virus scanners, it's generally agreed that 25% of all computers have malicious content on them, (some would argue the true figure is as high as 70%!)
This means hundreds of millions of computer users have their finances at risk. The vast majority of these infected computers are using Windows. Windows has a 95% market share. Therefore hackers aim their exploits mainly at Windows users.
Here is a Solution.
Use a Live CD disk. This bypasses all the Windows keyboard loggers, trojans, viruses, spy-ware and rootkit exploits, that may presently be on your computer. I know of no other system that does that. There are huge advantages in doing this. As you can run an entire clean operating system from a CD, you can start your computer from it, and get on the internet with a lot more safety because:
1. If your normal operating system has been infected with keyboard loggers, trojans, viruses, spy-ware, rootkits, or bootkits, these will be inactive, because the CD loads a complete clean and separate OS (Operating System), each time you use it. The operating system is completely separated from your normal OS etc., Windows, Linux or Apple.
2. The CD can't be written to, so no keyboard loggers, trojans, viruses. spy-ware, rootkits, and bootkits can be recorded on the disk, hidden, then activated from the CD later. When it pops out, and you pop it back in the next time to use it, you know it is totally clean!
3. The Mandriva Live CD has a good firewall. This helps prevent intruders breaking in, and installing malicious programs.
4. You can use it for safer Internet banking, financial transactions, changing your online passwords, or as a safe system when your are travelling. (You can't assume other people's computers, or those in Internet kiosks are clean.)
5. You can also put visiting friends and relatives on the Internet, using the Live disk, and know that when they're finished using the computer, you can restart, and it is totally clean.
Of course once you master using the Live CD, in a Live CD session, you should change your important passwords. The reason is that hackers may already have stolen this information, by hacking your Windows computer. Using the Live CD does not change your computer in any way. You can go back to using Windows, and it is exactly as it was before you used the Live CD.
Most of the present exploits are designed to install trojans, viruses, spyware and rootkits, on the hard drive of mainly Windows computers. This is so they can control the computer, and steal passwords, credit card numbers, personal information, and banking information etc. The Live CD system bypasses all this, and in my opinion, if used wisely, can give a great deal of extra security.
Ok, the Live CD can't be updated with a patch. This is one of it's great strengths, because it can't be recorded on to, so no malicious content can be recorded on it. (Lots of these Windows machines are fully patched, and still infected. Patching doesn't mean the machine is clean. If you already have malicious content on your computer, patching does nothing. When a hacker finds a vulnerability, he doesn't tell the world, he keeps it hidden, so he can exploit it. Patches only fix those vulnerabilities, the honest computer experts discover.) Live CDs are regularly updated to new versions, with all the latest updates and patches. They are available as a free download, or can be purchased for a small fee as a CD. The Live CD updated versions are generally available every 3, 6, or 12 months, depending on the version. There are differences in security between different versions, so you must do security checks before using any.
There are no perfect systems, I give no warranties on the use of this system. You use it at your own risk. The computer security situation is such, that new unknown hack techniques, and systems, are being developed constantly. No one can honestly give a guarantee that any system is totally safe. This is the safest system I can think of at present.
(c) 2008 Peter Daley
Disclaimer: This is an amateur volunteer run service. Human error can provide incorrect information, and equipment malfunction can produce false readings. Do not rely on, or take action upon information presented on this web site or at SCCC activities, without further research. Views expressed in the pages, images, or tutorials on the SCCC Inc., web site or presented at venues, maybe the personal opinions of the relevant writers or presenters, and are not necessarily representative of those of SCCC Inc.